Can't find root cause of BGA in my tank.
Hello everyone. As some of you know i have been battling BGA Bacteria for awhile, and with the advise of some friends, I have been doing water changes every week at 50% and cleaning the BGA as much as possible, i have also reduced my lighting duration to 7 hours. My Nitrate levels are 10 ppm, Ammonia and Nitrite are 0. I have also cut back the amount i feed my fish and i also Make sure i remove any dead plant matter in my tank. All my plants seem to have new growth on them. But every time i clean my tank of the BGA, it comes back, fast and looks like i haven't even touched it. I have been struggling to get rid of it with out using Chemicals, or doing a black out. But i have not been able to find the root cause of it.
So i am asking for Any help and question you can ask to help me diagnose the problem. my tank specs are as follows
55g planted tank. Ammonia and Nitrite 0, Nitrate 10ppm. (Nitrates high in tap. have to use bottled water 50/50 mix)
temp. is 77 degrees, i have 2 T8 shop 6500k daylight bulbs. I fertilize after water changes. My pH is 7.4
I also have BBA and green spot algae in my tank now.
I do not know what the cause is and can't seem to figure out what is causing the problem. your help and input is greatly wanted.
thanks in advance
there is a overbalnce in the tank, be it ferts light or co2. my guess would be too much light and fert not enough co2. i would half the fert dosing or even stop it for a month with the reduced light schedule and see how that works. my guess is that the BGA is using the excess ferts that the plants are not to balance out the aquarium. plants can only use fert and liught where there is enough co2, you say its a heavily planted 55, how heavy? any co2 injection? but do you see my point? plants are like cars light is like the gas pedal ferts are the gas and co2 is the air. the more you press the pedel the more air to fuel ratio a car needs and if it doesnt have enough of air and gas (ferts co2) then your car doesnt respond. then you get algae to compensate.
so i reccomend no more fert dosing or atleast cutting it way back and keep cleaning it out (BGA). then when you notice it stoping from coming back then slowly up your ferts to the threshold. or to get a easyier fix add co2 to where the palnts can use every bit of fert and light you can throw at them with a low risk of algae.
I did a water change this morning and I didn't add any ferts to it. I did cut back on the ferts. I did forget to mention that. But i do see your point. I found one of my Cory's dead. He must of died Last night, I am unsure what the cause of him dying. my water tested good. And my tank isn't heavy heavy stocked on plants but its medium stocked on plants.
I'd agree that cutting back the fertilizer dose may help. I'd also suggest (perhaps even a few) 50% water changes to get the tank clear of unwanted nutrients and impurities.
You might use API Nitra-Zorb to get your tank nitrates low. It is a synthetic resin that adsorbs nitrates and can be regenerated several times in ordinary salt water.
As for your source water, consider an API Tap Water Filter (TWF) to create deionized (DI) water (instead of store bought bottled water). I have done this with success. Lately, I have converted a spent TWF cartridge and filled it with API Nitra-Zorb to filter my tap water (I was running it in a filter in a spare aquarium but this method is better). I can use this filtered water alone or as available, I mix it 50/50 with water I capture from my basement dehumidifier (pseudo distilled). Of course DI and distilled water requires treatment for minerals and pH. I use Seachem Replenish and Fresh Trace with small amounts of Seachem Neutral Regulator and Alkaline Regulator for pH.
Good luck and keep us posted.
Mitch's point on the plant fertilizer is well taken. In thinking about my case after your PM earlier, Josh, I remembered that I did stop using Flourish Comp for a few weeks. Cyanobacteria is caused by organics, that is clear, so eliminating as much as possible any organics will or should help. This, plus AD's suggestions. But I did have this linger for several months before it suddenly disappeared.
I also had crypts in this tank, and elsewhere it has been mentioned that for some reason this seems to be connected. Still don't know why. But I have crypts in other tanks with no cyano.
The green spot is not a problem, just use a good scraper on the glass each water change. I have found that cleaning the glass with a sponge scraper at each water change prevents this from getting a hold. If I miss a week or usually two, sure enough I may see it. But only in the 115g tank.
Brush algae is light and nutrients. Floating plants will help here.
Yeah i'm not to worried about the BBA or the spot Algae At the levels that is in there Kinda makes it look Nice. But the Bacteria Is my main concern. I will hold off on the ferts for awhile And see how well that helps. I almost had it gone at one point but It came back for some reason...
your saying you have both BBA (Blue Green Algae) AND (Black Brush Algae)? if so this is nto soemthing to just brush off as you are not far from a totall outbreak. here is a link that that will explain a little more on them both.
Algae causes & Solutions
and another post with any mroe q's
Yeah i'm going to Stop ferts for for awhile, and keep at it, Thanks Byron. And MoneyMitch The black brush isn't to bad at the moment its mostly on my driftwood and a few slow growing plants. I normally scrap it off and trim the leaf that has it the worse. But it is no where near as bad as the BGA.
Just a quick comment on the first article Mitch linked, concerning the suggested treatment for cyanobacteria and brush algae.
The aquarium containing fish and plants is a closed system in which natural processes will occur. Every time the aquarist interferes no matter how, these processes will be affected. This can be good, as when we change the water, add fish food, etc. But they can also be dangerous. The aquarist must very carefully consider the ramifications of doing this or that, and weigh the consequences.
The fish are captive in this closed environment, and unlike in nature where they can usually escape something by swimming elsewhere, in the aquarium they cannot do this. My first concern is always the fish. Plants, algae, etc are secondary.
Adding nitrates in an attempt to combat brush algae is not advisable. We now know that fish are affected by nitrate, at varying levels depending upon the species. But the long-term effects of the fish remaining exposed to nitrates even at low levels are now beginning to be examined. Cichlids are known to have problems at nitrate levels of 20 ppm when this remains constant. Many soft water fish experience problems at lower levels. Nitrate should never be allowed to rise above 10 ppm, and keeping nitrates below this is even better. This should seem logical when one remembers that in their natural habitats, nitrates are so low they are usually undetectable. And nitrate is just another form of nitrogen, similar to ammonia and nitrite; all three are toxic to fish.
Algae even at its worst is not going to harm fish--though the cause when it is too high an organic load may; taking measures that can harm the fish just to deal with some algae is not very practical.
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